What are Play Clothes?

What are Play Clothes?

December 22, 2021

I have been pondering two different philosophies lately regarding children's clothing.  One is that "all clothes are play clothes" and the other is having specific clothing designated for the day's activity.  As far as philosophy goes, I certainly subscribe to allowing play in whatever attire a child happens to be wearing.

In reality, though, I lean more toward making sure my kids are equipped with the right clothing for the occasion.  I'm not going to be angry if my kids get dirty when wearing their nice outfits because, well, they're kids!  It's to be expected.  But, I also prefer that they change into play clothes when we get home from any excursion that required nicer clothing because that works better with my efforts to minimize their wardrobe and I don't have the budget to keep replacing torn or stained outfits that are suitable for the less frequent 'nice outings' like Sunday mornings.  I believe it's okay to care about belongings in an effort to avoid over-consumption, and to impart that idea on to my kids. 

It's become more practical, sustainable, and budget friendly for us to have most of the wardrobe be play clothes and designate only a few pieces as nice outfits.  It also works well for us because my kids really dislike the comfort (or lack thereof) of their 'nice' clothes!  Stiff khakis or jeans, button-down tops and itchy sweaters are really not appealing to them! 

I have been able to successfully pass down these nice outfits from one child to the next so that I am able to save on those purchases. I am also able to pass along the play clothes more frequently because it's perfectly okay if the clothes are ripped, patched or stained.  They are precisely meant to receive more of that treatment!  The only puzzle left are the play pants- they just get too worn in to be able to pass along (except as cut-off sweat shorts!).

I love the philosophy of "all clothes are play clothes" but it also makes me cringe a little.  It supports fast fashion too much for my liking and it feels privileged to think that it's no big deal if a kid ruins their one nice pair of pants or special occasion dress. I'm also not against a kid heading to church in sweatpants - I am partial to the rough and tumble child and I have 100% been there when a child refuses any and all clothing that are not sweatpants.  

But honestly, we don't have a lot of occasions that the boys need to dress up for, especially in the new Covid world.  Most of their closet is playwear and they happily choose whatever they want to wear for the day. 

I'm curious what philosophy you follow in your home when it comes to kids clothes.  Do you have designated clothing for play, for school, for Sunday...or is everything on the table to wear any day? 



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Who is the Artist?  Interview with Rae Ritchie
Who is the Artist? Interview with Rae Ritchie

August 26, 2020 1 Comment

I scoured the internet for what was knocking around in my head and discovered Rae's work.  She paints the most charming scenes of animals, gnomes, and fairies and it was exactly the whimsical, imaginative feeling I was looking for.  She perfectly captured the sentiments of adventure, exploration, and imagination that childhood holds. 

Read More

The Joy of Messy Things
The Joy of Messy Things

July 01, 2020

Let's just hold off a bit on the admonishments toward mess-making and let them be!  Revel in the magic that only the small window of childhood holds. 

Read More

Her Comment about my Son was Telling
Her Comment about my Son was Telling

June 28, 2020

Wild Mill Kids lives in the pile of filthy clothes on the floor outside the bathtub because we were made passionately for the play clothes/weekend wear/cabin clothes pile in the closet.  Wild Mill Kids is not for beauty's sake and will definitely not be featured on Sunday mornings, in frames on your living room walls, or in your holiday cards. 

You will find us in the BEST of days. 

Read More